Viewing parties

More than 40,000 Haredi men filled a New York baseball stadium on Sunday to talk about Oh noes the internet.

Men. Not women. This isn’t like women just not showing up at wrestling matches because they’d rather do something else – it’s women not being allowed to attend. Not being allowed – as if they were children.

The organizers had allowed only men to buy tickets, in keeping with ultra-Orthodox tradition of separating the sexes. Viewing parties had been arranged in Orthodox neighborhoods of Brooklyn and New Jersey so that women could watch, too. 

Typical New York Times; typical mainstream media. That’s not “separating the sexes”; it’s banishing one sex. Separating the sexes would be having them in different parts of the stadium, with a big heavy cloth and some guards in between. That’s not what this was.

The rally in Citi Field on Sunday was sponsored by a rabbinical group, Ichud Hakehillos Letohar Hamachane, that is linked to a software company that sells Internet filtering software to Orthodox Jews. Those in attendance were handed fliers that advertised services like a “kosher GPS App” for iPhone and Android phones, which helps users locate synagogues and kosher restaurants.

Oh noes the non-kosher internet.



  1. says

    Alas they will never find out your opinion on the subject, Ophelia, as their internet filtering software probably filters out any web page with the word “woman” on it.

  2. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says

    Oh no. They aren’t allowed to use computers. Or watch television.

    And, it is incredibly hard to take seriously a religion based on “ewww girlz have cooties”

    Which, come to think of it, is all of them, isn’t it.

  3. justsomeguy says

    I still don’t understand how the Torah can forbid the use of electricity or electronics, if neither of those things actually existed at the time it was written. It’s like these people are looking for loopholes in their rule system to make life *harder* for themselves.

  4. John says

    I had read this story before, and had laughed at the obnoxiousness of the conference itself. I was also shocked that women weren’t allowed to attend.

    What I got from reading you here is different though. I was initially surprised at your issue with the NYT and the mainstream media reporting of the situation. I hadn’t noticed the subtly employed in their language, what that conveyed, and how that could be taken by a woman.

  5. says

    What do you expect in a society that views women as property, who are not paid equally for the same work as a man, who can’t have control of their bodies, are not allowed to have an abortion even if they are raped, which is an all too common occurrence. What kind of a society are we creating??

  6. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says

    This actually does remind me of a UNITY concert I went to years ago – back when i was still religious and still studying Judaism to convert.

    There was this big “Hooray for us!” moment when some Israeli and Palestinian teenagers were on stage together and hugged.

    All. Dudes.

    And, of course, women who said something about that were just haters.

    So much for that whole “Unity” thing.

  7. says

    John – yes – I started noticing it (fairly recently) in all these reports on “segregation” in Jerusalem, Saudi Arabia, etc, and thinking that’s an awfully flattering word for it. In this case it’s just outright inaccurate (but then it usually is in S.A., too).

  8. Jodi. says

    This is a pretty poor example of discrimination for the reason that the ultra-orthodox women in question are in perfect agreement with their male counterparts that females should not, on religious grounds, participate in such an event.

  9. Alex says

    @ Jodi
    They weren’t selling tickets to women, and a woman had to go in disguise to get in, and you think that the fact there were no women shows were in perfect agreement with the men? You Might have a point if tickets were equally available to all genders and any women who wished to turn up did so openly, but that clearly wasn’t the case.

  10. mnb0 says

    Sometimes I am dumb. If you had not pointed it out I had bought the “separation” argument as well.
    You are completely right and this kind of stuff is why I read your articles.
    I have learned something today. Thanks.

  11. OurSally says

    >What kind of a society are we creating??

    Creating? It’s been like that all along. It only got better for some women in some parts of the world in the last few decades. The rest of history was not much fun for us…

  12. Bill Yeager says

    One particular part of the article caught my eye, in regards to child abuse within the sect:

    the group’s policy that such allegations be vetted through a rabbi before being routed to city authorities.

    If the Catlicks have had their knuckles rapped over that very same policy, how come there has to be ‘protest groups’ at this Jewish rally to wave placards and banners calling for the practice to be stopped? Why is there not a media-wide outcry over something that is ENTIRELY wrong.

    Children should not be forced to have to report abuse to religious leaders. I mean, sure, we all know why religious groups like to enforce that sort of control on their young, but my concern is why the mainstream media and government, for that matter, aren’t jumping all over them about it.

  13. dirigible says

    “I still don’t understand how the Torah can forbid the use of electricity or electronics”

    I didn’t think it did generally. I thought it was just a reasonably logical extension of the idea of performing labour or using fire on the sabbath. On the sabbath.

  14. No Light says

    Bill Y – Haredim bloc-vote. If Charles Hynes covers up the endemic abuse in the community, he is guaranteed two votes from every man. Women do not get to choose their vote, the men allocate. family votes. to whoever their rabbi has chosen.

    Also, it’s been announced today that children claiming to have been abused must be investigated. Yeah, you
    read that right:

  15. Maverick says

    The group that ran this rally has strong ties to the company who’s internet-censoring product was endorsed. The company and organizers apparently made millions off the marks attendees.


    When I was still Jewish, I looked into electricity and Sabbath. Turns out, comparisons to fire or other milachot are incoherent if you know basic science (oh wait, I see the problem…), and there is no logic for it to be forbidden. However, Judaism (and I presume basically all religions) are not so much about piety but about sanctimony. Adding restrictions and obligations is an end- and reason-unto itself.

  16. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says

    This is a pretty poor example of discrimination for the reason that the ultra-orthodox women in question are in perfect agreement with their male counterparts that females should not, on religious grounds, participate in such an event.

    *facepalm* Are you kidding me? Seriously. Are you #%(&&%^@*()$&*!# kidding me?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *